Increase Your Likability

How much do you care about how you are liked? How much do you care about how you look? Do you worry more about doing good or about looking good?

Answers to these questions can set your trajectory differently in regards to how you come off to others – how likable people think you are and whether they will follow you or trust you. Or not.

I was gearing up just last week to kick off a meeting of executive women in a network I belong too. We were trying to start the meeting and I was staring at a water pitcher being poured another table thinking, “Hmm, maybe I should get a glass before I start speaking,” without a thought to my facial expression.

One of the women at the table kiddingly said, “Hey, OK, we are quieting down. Stop with the dirty looks.” I walked over and smiled and both she and the woman next to her shared that I had one of those “looks to kill faces.” Wow, I did not realize it. And how on earth would I? I thanked both of them, let them both know I was looking at the pitcher contemplating  getting water and we all laughed.

Later, I wondered. What if I had had my mind going other times and at other places and no one was nice enough to give me that same feedback. Did it affect my likability?

Then, that very morning I saw this likability info graphic from Guy Kawaski’s book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. Wow, I thought, look at all the things we are judged on by others every day: our smile, our clothes, our words and our handshake. And that’s just a start.

How about you? Have you judged others on these things? Have you had an experience similar to mine? What have you done to increase your likability?

About the Author

Debbie Brown

Debbie Brown is a Senior Sales Executive in Analytics, Software and Services . The majority of her career has been spent managing people and teams in software and services provided to the HR industry. Debbie enjoys sharing leadership best practices and as an avid reader is always happy to share great book recommendations. You can connect with Debbie on Twitter as @DebbieJBrown.


Debbie Brown

Yes! agree- some people suggest putting a mirror facing you on your desk, I did that for a while, and was surprised about my facial expressions- ! There is what we say, and what we project! I have learned that what we project matters a lot! Thanks for sharing your story!

Krista Francis

Our office manager is really good at giving me feedback on how I come across to her. For example, I make bank deposits on behalf of my company and she let me know that when I walk out with the bank bag, I tend to clutch it to my side and generally look very intense. I guess I am on alert because sometimes I am carrying huge checks as well as other people’s money, but I had no idea I was actually bringing more attention to myself with my furtive body language.

She also says things like, “Are you okay? You look concerned.” or “Are you okay? You look tired.”
I really appreciate her feedback and wish more people would do the same!


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